Despite recent violence, Madison leaders confident in public safety

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MADISON, Ala – Sunday, a man was murdered in madison outside a Kroger grocery store. This is the second murder that has taken place in Madison this year.

There have also been multiple robberies. But are crime rates actually rising in Madison? Mayor Paul Finley explained the message he wants the community to understand about these crimes.

Over the weekend, caution tape blocked off a crime scene at the Kroger on Wall Triana Highwayafter a man was shot and killed on the property in broad daylight. The man who was killed has been identified as 25-year-old Zeandre Marjuan Paul Zachary.

In a separate incident several weeks ago,  surveillance footage was released of masked gunmen holding up the Walgreens on Highway 72. Police say they haven’t found these suspects, but they believe they do not live in the area.

This summer, a man was killed during a home invasion on Skyline Road. The victim was identified as Robert Luke Pratt. Eight people were arrested in connection to this home invasion.

“Anytime something like that happens, especially in Madison when its an anomaly, it catches your attention.” Mayor Paul Finley said.

Finley says he believes drugs play a part in the crimes that are being committed in the area and he says the Madison Police Department is taking steps to be able to address addiction in the community.

“Two years ago we had two different seminars on opioids, you know making sure that we tried to get out in the community,” he said. “So much of what we’re doing now is drug awareness of trying to get ahead of the game if you can do that you’ll hopefully minimize some of the other stuff on the back end.”

WHNT News 19 did some digging and looked at crime statistics over the past 10 years. Since 2008, it appears violent crimes,  specifically, rape and assault have been on a steady rise:

In 2008, 51 assaults and 7 rapes were recorded in state records. In 2017, 129 assaults and 22 rapes were recorded.

A representative from the Police Department says that violent crime was down in 2018 compared to 2017.

Burglary, robbery, and theft have varied year to year.

  • In 2008, there were 270 burglaries and 38 robberies.
  • In 2009, there were 170 burglaries and 17 robberies.
  • In 2018, there were 133 burglaries and 18 robberies.
  • So far in 2019, there have been 81 burglaries and 10 robberies.

Homicides vary as well. The most homicides to occur over the course of the year in Madison is 3. Many years no murders were committed in the city limits.

Mayor Finley says the department utilizes community policing.

“Our message is we’re a safe community, we’re proud of what our wonderful police department does and our primary focus for quality of life is making sure that people feel safe,” Finley said.

He and other city leaders do not plan to make changes to the way they handle crime in light of 2019.

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